Author: Gia Tims, Communications & Digital Media Specialist
    Posted: Jan. 16, 202

    As skills and competencies change in the accounting profession, the CPA Evolution initiative — a joint effort between NASBA and the AICPA — aims to transform the CPA licensure model alongside these changes.  

    After reviewing feedback from stakeholders, NASBA and the AICPA decided to introduce new disciplines to the Uniform CPA Exam. Under the initiative, all testing for BEC officially ended in December 2023, and as of January 10, 2024, new disciplines have become available. This is the biggest change to the Exam since computerization.  

    Replacing BEC will be three new disciplines – Business Analysis and Reporting (BAR), Information Systems and Controls (ISC) and Tax Compliance and Planning (TCP).

    • BAR will assess knowledge and skills related to analyzing financial statements and financial information (including the use of data); select technical accounting and reporting requirements applicable to for-profit business entities (e.g. stock compensation, business combinations, derivatives) and higher order skills related to revenue recognition and lease accounting, and state and local government accounting and reporting requirements.
    • ISC will assess knowledge and skills related to IT audit and advisory services, including SOC engagements, data management, including data collection, storage, and usage throughout the data life cycle.
    • TCP will assess knowledge and skills related to U.S. federal tax compliance for individuals and entities with a focus on nonroutine and higher complexity transactions, U.S. federal tax planning for individuals and entities, and personal financial planning.

    Once a candidate selects the discipline they want to take, it is advised they review the Exam Blueprints offered by the AICPA. The Blueprints outline what each section of the Exam covers and the content allocation of each section. This is a crucial tool in planning one’s study strategy. 

    Another great way to prepare for the Exam is to take advantage of the sample tests offered by the AICPA. It’s important to be familiar with the format and functionality of the CPA Exam testing software before test day. The sample test is a shorter version of the Exam that uses the software used in a test center.

    Lastly, all candidates should review NASBA’s Candidate Guide to prepare for their Exam journey. The Candidate Guide walks through each step of the Exam process, from applications to score releases. It contains essential information that every candidate needs to make their Exam journey successful. 

    For more information on the new disciplines and how to prepare for the Exam, please refer to the AICPA toolkit here:  

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